The project to build a new oil refinery near Multan has been officially inaugurated by the local Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco). However, the company has yet to provide a definite schedule for carrying out the project (MEED 10:2:95).

Groundbreaking ceremonies, which took place on 31 August, gave new impetus to the project which had been stuck at the planning phase for several years and was delayed pending the approval of one of the original partners, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The 40 per cent stake in Parco held by ADNOC has since been transferred to the Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). A joint venture between ADNOC and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, IPIC has invested in an oil refinery in India and has a 20 per cent stake in Austria’s OMV.

The main object of the groundbreaking ceremony was to raise the interest of international financiers and engineering contractors, project sources say.

UOP of the US, which has acted as consultant to Parco for over 20 years, conducted the most recent feasibility study through its subsidiary UOP Management Services. Parco is still in the process of negotiating the engineering design specifications (EDS) with UOP. The next stage is expected to be a tender for detailed designs.

The refinery, at Mahmood Kot, will have a capacity of 4.5 million tonnes a year, equivalent to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) and is expected to cost about $756 million. A pipeline for the plant is to be built by Williams Brothers (Willbros) of the US, and will cost $90.8 million. The extension will be a continuation of the existing Karachi to Multan pipeline, and will carry finished products to Parco’s customers in Lahore and Faisalabad – they are presently supplied by road (MEED 10:2:95). The project is expected to be completed by the end of 1996.